Leslie T. Chang biography

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Leslie T. Chang
Photo © Jorge Anchondo

Leslie T. Chang

Leslie T. Chang Biography

Leslie T. Chang lived in China for a decade as a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, specializing in stories that explored how socioeconomic change is transforming institutions and individuals. She has also written for The New Yorker, National Geographic, and Condé Nast Traveler. Factory Girls is her first book.

A graduate of Harvard University with a degree in American History and Literature, Chang has also worked as a journalist in the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. She was raised outside New York City by immigrant parents.

She and her husband, writer Peter Hessler, live in Cairo with their two daughters.

Leslie Chang's website

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Interview

Leslie Chang discusses Factory Girls, in which she reports on her three years following the lives of women living in one of China's factory cities.

There's been a lot written in recent years on the sweatshop conditions inside Chinese factories. Yet in Factory Girls, you describe a job on the assembly line in terms of adventure, opportunity, even liberation. Doesn't this contradict the reality of factory life?

Certainly conditions in the factories are tough. Most of the young women I got to know while researching this book worked thirteen hours a day, seven days a week when they first started out. Their wages were often late; many had no idea how much they would be paid from month to month, because the factory charged fees for all sorts of things over which they had no control. But you have to remember that the world looks very different when you're coming from a Chinese farming village. What we think of as miserable living conditions—bad food, tedious labor, living twelve or fifteen to a room—are a given to these workers. Their response is usually not to complain or protest, as a typical American might, but to look for any slight advantage that would lead to an improvement in their situations. I think that's the reason you see a lot less protest in these factories than you might expect. These workers are constantly calculating what ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Leslie T. Chang at BookBrowse
Factory Girls jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Leslie T. Chang but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Mark Binelli

    Mark Binelli

    Mark Binelli is the author of Detroit City Is the Place to Be and the novel Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die! as well as a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and Men's Journal. Born and raised in the Detroit area, he lives in ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Factory Girls

    Try:
    Detroit City Is the Place to Be
    by Mark Binelli

  • Louise Brown

    Louise Brown

    Louise Brown is an academic at Birmingham University in England and the author of several books on Asia, including The Dancing Girls of Lahore. She frequently returns to Lahore, Pakistan. (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Factory Girls

    Try:
    The Dancing Girls of Lahore
    by Louise Brown

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